How is biodynamic craniosacral therapy different from other healing modalities?

Oftentimes, alternative or unconventional healing methods get lumped into one category all together. However, there are many important differences between healing modalities, so I wanted to explore that a bit here.

This work is based in both a keen sense of anatomy and the energy field of the body all at once. The practitioner tracks anatomy while also holding an awareness of the various “breaths” of energy that breath the cells and ultimately the body. This thing called the breath of life can become restricted in areas of the body where trauma has occurred. Many modalities just focus on the tissue, not how it is being breathed by its life force. Craniosacral is not a mechanistic type of treatment, but rather a very subtle augmentation or suggestion of the body to take up the breath of life to breath in the tissue, and the energy biosphere around the body more powerfully.


Other forms of energy work often track what is happening outside the body. They can often focus on doing something to the client, to make something happen. Reiki for instance orients mostly to the energy field of the body, not necessarily how it is directly breathing the tissue.

One of the strengths of biodynamic craniosacral is that it follows the intelligence of the body and its energy field. The treatment is led by what the body-mind- energy field shows you during the treatment. As a practitioner, we notice what is being showed by the body without interfering. By being in the presence of a practitioner who is neutral, (neutral means they have no agendas but to listen without judgement) a witnessing takes place. When a client is witnessed this way, a third element arises and clarifies. This third element is the breath of life. The practitioner orients their system to their own breath of life, and offers the suggestion for the client to do so as well.


When the client is ready, and their nervous system can settle enough into relaxation, the breath of life comes into focus. This is an unusual thing to do; to orient to the quiet/ ever present breath that directs our being towards health. It is a potent powerful thing to notice that many do not experience in a lifetime. We are untrained to listen in this way, it has to be re-learned. We innately can listen to the breath of life when we are born throughout our childhood, but as we age it is often lost. As we get older we orient to more of the “get through the day” types of tasks. This is important, but over emphasized in our culture. This is not the case if we continue to practice connecting to the “force” called the breath of life. The “breath of life” was originally used to describe what Dr William Sutherland, an Osteopath, named what he felt as he listened to with his hands while making contact with his patients.

In a way, biodynamic craniosacral reminds us in a very concrete grounded way of our roots in health, and the larger forces that keep us in balance. It is grounded because it is led by the client’s innate intelligence, and both the tissue and the energy fields are being tracked simultaneously by the practitioner. When we listen so deeply to the breath of life, it has a vast intelligence and we get a lot of insight from it. When it is “heard” healing takes place, that is often beyond our deepest understanding.



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